I wish you all the best over the next few days and I hope that there is plenty of joy that accompanies you and your loved ones. May God continually bless you in all that you do! I'll be gone over the next few days, but I'll be back early next week before New Years! There's plenty of people to visit this holiday season! Best of wishes!
All right! So here's scene #2 of the first story I ever wrote. [I apologize for the length].
The challenge spanned 12 weeks in length and each week, a different picture was posted each week and from that picture, the story had to derive. Some of the pictures are really... different, as you'll soon see, but others were pretty cool.
Anywho, enjoy this week's scene!
God's Little Princess
A knock sounded on Anita’s door announcing Sally, who carried a tray of hot chocolate in one hand. “You thirsty?”
Smiling slightly, Anita took a mug, her mind making frantic calculations. “I’d love some, thank you.”
Leaving the door ajar, Sally pulled a chair to the bed and sat in front of Anita. “So, tell me what happened.”
“My services have been requested. I'm to find the Embyr Stone. Only a poem as my clue and a threat as my pay,” Anita sighed and sipped from the hot chocolate before going on. “She has Runil, Sally,” she breathed through gritted teeth.
Sally paled and rested her hand on Anita’s shoulder. “I see you’ve made your decision and I’ve made mine. I think I can help you.”
“What can you do, Sally? Besides your usual provisions I mean?”
“My friend Theo lives just north of town and she is a fairly accomplished psychic. I’m sure that she’d be willing to help you if you went and asked a favor. She can maybe give you an idea of where you can start the search.”
Anita’s spirits rose and she cupped the mug tighter in her fingers. “Would she help for free or would I have to pay?”
“Let me worry about her fee, alright?” Sally paused and looked out the window at the dead of night before going on. “Now you have a horse so travel won’t be a problem. You are a fair archer but a swordswoman you are not. You need a companion to help you on your travels.”
“That’d be nice and all, but I don’t have time to hunt out an employee. I’m leaving first thing tomorrow.”
“I know, but I already have someone. Come in!” she called towards the door. Anita gave her a funny look before turning to look at the tall man who walked through the door. Skinny but muscular, blond hair and blue eyes, the man smiled at the women. Letting a gasp escape her lips, Anita jumped up to hug the stranger. “Ethan! What are you doing here?”
“I stopped for the night and heard you were in trouble.” His eyes held hers. “Is Runil really in trouble?” She looked away and nodded. “Then I will help you on the quest for this Embyr Stone.”
Anita squeezed him tighter. “Thank you.”
Taking seats, the friends talked late into the night before finally bidding sweet dreams and heading to their beds. Anita, though worried, soon woke to the pale rays of dawn resting on her eyelids. Grabbing her sack and adjusting her cloak she headed downstairs to find Sally busy in the kitchen and Ethan at the bar. “Good morning all.”
“Good morning Nita!” Sally beamed as she laid the breakfast plate before her friend. “The horses are saddled and ready, food has been packed and the payment for Theo is wrapped in the white paper in the left saddle bag.”
Anita munched her toast, tears glistening in her bright eyes. “Thank you my friend, this means so much to me.”
Sally went pink and came round to pull Anita into a hug. “You scalawag! Now don't you dare think about killing yourself. I won't hear of it!” Anita sniffed and smiled.
“Don't worry mum, I'll keep her safe.”
Sally pulled a ladle from her apron, and one arm around Anita, tapped Ethan playfully. “Don't sass me boy.” They both laughed trading jokes as Anita hurriedly finished her meal. Saying goodbyes one last time and with Ethan at her side, they mounted the horses and headed north for Theo's.
At a gallop, the ride took fifteen minutes and soon Anita spotted a column of smoke arising about the tree line. Wind urged them onward, leading them into a clearing. Before them was a small cottage merged into the rock cliff behind it. Picketing their horses, Ethan and Anita unpacked the bribe and strode to the door which opened to reveal a lady dressed in white from head to toe with white hair, gray eyes and pale skin. Theo was in many ways, intimidating.
“Anita and he's Ethan,” Theo finished for her. “You seek the answers to some questions and you have brought me a present.” She smiled. “Please come in, I don't often meet friends of Sally.”
Stepping through the door, they found themselves in a wide room with burgundy walls. Paintings of faraway landscapes hung beside book shelves overflowing with books and in the center of the room was a table, set for three. They each took a seat and Anita placed the parcel before Theo as the hostess poured them tea.
“You're good, Ma'am,” Ethan said as he reached for a cookie.
“Theo will do. Now tell me, one lump or two?”
“Theo, if you don't mind, I'd prefer to be on the quest as soon as possible and Sally said you could—”
“I understand dear. We'll save the tea for later then.” Standing now, Theo walked over to a door set into the cliff. “Come along then and watch your step.”
Dark and never ending, the passageway cut into the earth weaving downwards. Moss sprouted on the walls and ceiling emitting an eerie green glow. In the distance, a light shone, getting brighter with every step.
The cavern, for that is what it was, stretched into the distance, disappearing into the shadows. Stalagmites and stalactites adorned the space, some joining and forming large columns. A few feet from the stairs was the pool. Circular and two meters wide, the pool was the source of white light.
Theo approached the water's edge and motioned for Anita and Ethan to come closer. “What is it you wish to know?” she asked in a far off voice, gray eyes focused on the center of the pool.
Anita was silent as she removed the poem from her cloak. She studied the phrases over and over again, looking for the biggest clue. Finally, in a polite voice she asked, “What is made of ice and fire?”
Theo stared into the depths at the white light for a moment while Anita and Ethan hung back, not wanting to see the images she saw. “Ice and Fire. Fire and Ice, used to form the black of night.” The words rang loudly in the cavern as Anita stared at Theo, as if seeing her for the first time. Theo turned from the pool and said one more word, “Obsidian.” And then she fell.